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Scam rattles Dairy Development Board

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 Nov 2015 12:00 AM GMT

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

JORHAT, Nov 14: A scam of Rs 18 lakh has been reported at the office of the Jorhat Dairy Development Board in Jorhat following an FIR lodged by a Branch Mager of the SBI Borpool Branch with the Jorhat Police for recovery of a subsidized loan worth Rs 18 lakh, allotted to one Prasanta Sarmah for purchasing cattle and setting up of a commercial dairy farm unit at Fakala Pathar, Commissioner Road, Jorhat. Prasanta Sarmah a Class 1(A) contractor, supplier and owner of the land where the unit was supposed to be established, is a close relative of a powerful Congress leader of the district.

First hand information about the case that has rattled the dairy development board after the scam came to the fore is that Prasanta Sarmah had initially submitted a detailed plan to establish a commercial dairy farm and that the project was approved by the Director, Dairy Development, Khapara, Guwahati as assistance to the entrepreneur under the 2009-10 Annual Plan with a total cost of Rs 95.67 lakh, having a government subsidy of Rs 38.33 lakh and a bank loan of Rs 57.34 lakh.

In the FIR, Subhash Dhar, SBI Branch Mager has mentioned about the disbursement of the loan that started on 19.03.2014 for construction of shed and bulk cooler house. On 31.05.2014 an amount of Rs 18.60 lakh for purchase of 20 cattle out of a total of 40 cattle as per a quotation submitted by Prasanta Sarmah in favour of Dil Prashad of Bijoypur Mishing village, gadhulie, Mariani by means of a draft in favour of Dil Prashad having a SBI account (10789620206) in the Dhodor Ali Branch. Thereafter, despite reminder over telephone, besides visit to the unit and correspondence through letters to bring the remaining 20 cattle and create requirement, Prasanta Sarmah allegedly refrained from answering calls and filly in 5.02.2015, Dil Prashad submitted a letter mentioning that Prasanta Sarmah had already taken the money for the cost of the remaining 20 cattle saying that the former would purchase the same later on.

The FIR further quotes that since the bank’s fund (public money) had been utilized otherwise than the purpose for which it was disbursed and that the terms and conditions of the loan had not been adhered to along with the purpose of assistance by the government in creation of new entrepreneur in the dairy sector has received a great jolt, the Jorhat police has registered a case against Prasanta Sarmah and Dil Prashad U/S 406 & 420 IPC.

Also, as per allegation certain officers of the Jorhat Police who tend to work under the influence of a particular political party, had earlier tried to keep the matter under the table despite the first initiation of an FIR from the bank much earlier during summer. Pressure from senior bank officials in Guwahati filly forced the reluctant Jorhat Police to do some investigation which was till now in cold storage. Reliable sources have informed about the accused Prasanta Sarmah moving a bail petition in Jorhat which was thoroughly rejected by a bench of the Jorhat Court.


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